Teaching Ahead of the Curriculum Banned in Korean Schools

This February, a new law forbidding teaching students ahead of the curriculum was passed in the National Assembly. It will go in full affect this September with the start of the second semester. For more background, read about the new law in English here or in Korean here.

A law regulating advanced curricular studies is passed in the National Assembly. (February, 2014)

A law regulating advanced curricular studies is passed in the National Assembly. (February, 2014)

Watch original video at JTBC News:

Anchor: From this September onward, students will be unable to study beyond the curriculum at school. Classes for advanced study are expanding at private after-school academies. On average, students learn material 4 years and 2 months ahead of their grade level. Due to this, the law aims to normalize public education.

Reporter: A notice is posted on a Gangnam, Seoul private after-school website. They are recruiting first-year middle school students for a medical school preparatory class.

Seoul, Daechi-dong, math academy advisor : “For classes like the med school prep class, we teach any mathematics that could appear in a high school level science track.”

There are also middle school students who are preparing for science fairs that are being taught grade 3 high school level physics and chemistry.

Seoul, Daechi-dong, science academy advisor: “Students study hard during winter vacation, so we aim to complete levels 1 and 2 in both physics and chemistry.”

One community group investigated 13 private academies in four districts with many of these after-school academies, such as Gangnam-gu and Nowon-gu. Their results show that on average, students are studying 4 years and 2 months ahead of their public school curriculum. This is three months more than last year’s average.

Analysts point out that the rise in demand in the private education market for after-school academies is influenced by advanced studies being banned in public schools.

Hanyang University professor of Education, Jeong Jin-gon: “Since regulations regarding advanced curriculum studies have been revised, there should also be a suggestion to private educational centers to follow suit and cease teaching ahead of the school curriculum.”

Comments from Naver:

The current education system forces you to study ahead of the curriculum. They are really irresponsible.


Crazy Korea, crazy education.


Ha ha ha ha…ke ke ke ke


Honestly, this policy is really ***…


It’s better to learn step by step and really grasp things than to impatiently study in advance.


Before making it impossible to study past the curriculum why don’t they try teaching properly? When I was in school, for something like math, teachers even assumed that we already learned it in advance at a private after-school academy. Does this make any sense?


Instead of this, it’d be nice if they do not make the tests more difficult than what is taught at school. Tests are full of questions that students who don’t go to private academies or get private tutoring can’t answer, yet it keeps being said that if the classes are made easy, and students just look at their textbooks they can pass the tests. It’s so frustrating every time there’s a test. So school teachers are encouraging students to take private lessons.


So then the sciences track needs to keep studying math until the very last hour right before the SAT? Really there are no words…


My god, so now only textbook material can be used as test questions. Why are there printouts not from the textbooks and questions not even learned in the books… You have to study ahead of the curriculum because of the tests… Really, teachers, only teach what is in the textbooks and only make questions from the textbooks, please.


Just get rid of public schools altogether. Is anyone really studying at public schools? No, we study at private academies… Schools are only good for the teachers…


Let’s just look at Math. In the high school science track, there is Math 1, Math 2, Geometry and Vectors, and Integrals and Statistics courses. Before taking SAT exam in the third year, when will there be any time to review? To finish the SAT in the third year of high school, the students have to have studied all four math units by their second year. Are you saying they shouldn’t have any time to prepare for the SAT? This is full of contradictions.


If you don’t study ahead, it’s hard to get into university.


Advanced math studies… I don’t really know anything but the curriculum keep moving forward quickly!


If they’re gonna do this, start with banning congress members from sending their kids to get advanced education.


Stop with the empty talk and reform the entire system from the roots. What’s been talked about doesn’t solve the problem of private education…


Is it really important to be able to do calculus or not? It’s okay to make them study more than 12 hours a day, but even without that, start with etiquette and safety education. There are too many kids who aren’t even learning the basics about being a human.

Share This Article
Help us maintain a vibrant and dynamic discussion section that is accessible and enjoyable to the majority of our readers. Please review our Comment Policy »
Personals @ chinaSMACK - Meet people, make friends, find lovers? Don't be so serious!»